Massive church rally set against Philippines' reproductive health bill

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle yesterday issued a circular urging the faithful to converge at the Edsa Shrine on Saturday for a Mass and rally against the bill.

"Relying on the power of prayer and the necessity of informed awareness, we will gather together to be informed, enlightened and emboldened once more. We also wish to express why we believe the reproductive health bill is not the solution to our many problems as individuals and as a country as it will even give rise to many other problems more pernicious and pervasive than the ones we face in the present,¿ Tagle said.

"I enjoin all parish priests and leaders of communities and lay movements to rally their members and endorse participation in this important gathering aimed at communicating a strong and sincere appeal to the goodwill of our legislators,¿ Tagle said in his letter.

The prayer rally will be a show of force for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) after President Benigno Aquino in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) last week urged the swift passage of the bill, which would provide universal access and information on natural and modern family methods and reduce the number of mothers and babies dying during childbirth.

On August 7, the House will vote on whether to wrap up debate and move the bill forward. CBCP officials said they would have a vigil at the House on the eve of the vote and that mass actions would also be held in other dioceses.

Time for a vote

President Aquino said Thursday it was time to put the bill to a vote.

"I hope that the point when we need to vote comes. Otherwise, Congress may have already adjourned and we're still in the period of debate; so we won't know what the people want. Perhaps the debate should be wrapped up, and we should make a decision on this so-called responsible parenthood bill once and for all,¿ Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview.

On the anti-RH rally, Aquino said: "We're all prolife, aren't we? We want an improved quality of life for our countrymen. So that is their right and I'm sure they will not endeavour to do anything against the law. So we will secure this rally if it pushes through.¿

The Palace also shrugged off an announcement that former President Gloria Arroyo, who is now a Pampanga representative, will vote against the measure and that seven of her allies had withdrawn sponsorship of the measure.

Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said that Arroyo and Catholic bishops have been vocal about their opposition to the bill. He said the Church's invitation to her to join the anti-RH rally should not be given political meaning. Arroyo was freed last week from eight months of hospital arrest after posting bail on election sabotage charges against her.

"I would not want to speak on behalf of the bishops about whether or not this is leading to some kind of support for the former President. This is a measure that should not be viewed in stark political terms because it actually got societal implications,¿ he said in a briefing.

Not Aquino-Arroyo showdown

A vote on the bill should not be seen as a showdown between Aquino, the bill's chief campaigner, and Arroyo, Carandang said.

"It's an important measure and we're not viewing it in terms of partisan politics. It's something that we feel is long overdue. It needs to be done, and we're doing it in that context. I understand that there are observers who are viewing this (showdown) in that way, but we're simply looking at it right now as a measure that has oppositors, that needs to go through the process and we'll leave it at that,¿ he said.

Carandang said the Palace respected the withdrawal of support by some lawmakers, but did not view the entire anti-RH bill campaign as "Arroyo's effort¿.

"We respect the democratic space in which the debate is being undertaken. At the same time, we hope that our friends in Congress will see the wisdom of this measure,¿ he added.

While Catholic bishops have counted 140 lawmakers as opposed to the measure based on survey and public consultations, Carandang said it was too early to tell whether the administration had the numbers to defeat them.

"You can never tell until the vote is there. But we are confident that we have support,¿ he said. "We're hoping that those of us who are on the administration's side will continue to support this effort.¿

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options